Northwest NEWS

November 8, 1999

School

Northshore schools claimY2K readiness

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   In light of a recent U.S. Dept. of Education report sounding the alarm that over 5,000 U.S. schools had self-reported that they were not Y2K-ready, the Northshore School District was asked to report on their preparedness.

   "Northshore has been very proactive in achieving Y2K compliance," said District spokesperson Dr. Pamela Steele. "Our facilities department is testing every school, and every department within each school, for compliance. That is in addition to their normal workload. So far, our internal systems are all in compliance, and we anticipate full compliance. We can't be completely sure about compliance of all our outside vendors (such as utility suppliers), which we have no control over. We asked our task forces to quiz all agencies and vendors for related compliance, and we will continue to encourage them to work with us.

   "Early on, we formed several task forces that addressed the status of several main categories of systems operation: Technological, Administrative, Risk Management, Support Services, and Records. Technological includes phones, computers, software, the Edulog transportation system for routing buses, and our network infrastructure. Administrative systems include office equipment, business systems (like direct deposits of paychecks and bill paying), food services, print shop, and our electric filing system. Risk Management includes insurance coverage, liability, and L&I claims. Support Services includes ventilation systems, alarms and fire systems, clocks, intercoms, elevators, automatic doors, electric gates, vehicle fueling, radios, and parts inventories. Records includes transcripts; continuous access to our book and media libraries; nursing, special, and vocational education and fingerprinting equipment; and certification and retirement records.

   "We have asked all school staff to report any potential breakdowns they might notice to the appropriate task force. We have also asked them to be familiar with all heating and alarm systems."

   The district has altered the return date from Christmas vacation to Jan. 4, to give administration and support services staff one extra day to ensure that all school systems are up and running.